In a driving snowstorm, demonstrators stood outside the County Council Chambers in Everett, WA to support a ban on horse slaughter.
Despite the severe weather, animal rescue and advocacy organization Pasado’s Safe Haven and one dozen other demonstrators voiced their concerns about horse slaughter.
Horse slaughter had been illegal in the United States since 2007, but after a change in federal policy, it became possible for horse slaughter facilities to re-open in the United States.
But not here in Washington State. Not today.
County Council member Dave Somers introduced ordinance 12-106 to ban the slaughter of horses and other equines for human consumption.
On Wednesday, December 19, at 10:30 a.m., the council legislative body met for a public hearing on the ordinance. And after withstanding the worst storm so far of the season, horse slaughter ban supporters were warmed by the unanimous response of the council members.
Four of the five council members were present. Each of them voted to uphold the horse slaughter ban.
The Farm Bureau was present, and while some supporters feared that they would strongly oppose the ban, they instead only requested minor amendments. The amendments incorporated involved persons who sell their horses and do not realize that they are slaughter bound and changing the wording from “has knowledge of” to “reasonably knows.”
The ordinance is now going to Executive Aaron Reardon for his approval. If he does approve it, the ban will take effect 10 days after he signs the ordinance.
Ordinance 12-106 will stop the plans of Canadian company Bouvry Exports to slaughter horses for human consumption just outside of Stanwood, WA. The U.S. Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) indicated that it is preparing to begin issuing permits for horse slaughter. Bouvry Exports requested an application for a permit.
Multiple animal advocacy groups, including The Animal Law Coalition, Horse Harbor, PAWS, and Pasado’s Safe Haven, are against the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Approximately 20 people testified in support of the ban at the hearing, indicating concerns related to ethics, the environment, humane practices, and disposal issues. Dave Somers also spoke in support of the ordinance.
“This was really a collaboration between Horse Harbor, The Animal Law Coalition, PAWS, and Pasado’s Safe Haven,” stated Amber Chenoweth, Pasado’s Media Manager. “Allen Warren of Horse Harbor really did a lot of work to help make this work. He had undercover footage of Bouvry that he showed at the hearing. There was footage of a horse that had to be stunned 44 times before he died.”
This hearing was a tremendous success for all who support the horse slaughter ban and humane practices for all animals. But it takes a lot of time and hard work to get to this point. Pasado’s, Horse Harbor, The Animal Law Coalition, and PAWS worked tirelessly to help ensure that this ban was upheld.
We need your help ensure that the next important ordinance is upheld. Please consider making a donation today – your support truly does make a difference.
From all of the animals at Pasado’s sanctuary – and from those who are still waiting to find their safe haven – thank you so much for your help.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.